Direct Marketing – Load Up Your Direct Marketing Toolbox & Grow Your Profits Exponentially!

Direct marketing DM is one of the major drivers in your 4Ps Marketing Mix – the Promotion component. As the word “Promotion” describes, it is a tool you use to promote your product or services either on one-to-one, one-to-many or even many-to-many modes of touch points to match your pre-selected target segments. Your DM toolbox should include both online and offline marketing tools.

The purpose is to elicit an action, be it an order, visit your physical store, cyber-store, website, or a response for more information, or even lodge a complaint! And my experience tells me that complaints can be the most rewarding and the best cross-selling tool if you manage to salvage the business relationship!

Your traditional marketing communication tools would be either one or more of the following namely, postal direct mailer, telemarketing, ads, email marketing, internet marketing, point of sales.

In my other literature on this subject, I have emphasized the significance of Integrated Communications and Integrated Marketing Plan. Essentially, you must ensure that in order to achieve greater success rate of your direct marketing campaigns, you need to strategize from an integrated perspective when utilizing your respective DM tools.

Do not expect success with simply sending out a direct mailer without supporting and reinforcing touch points. For example, your direct mailer must at least include your website link; your website must at least have a “shy yes” page to loop the touch point back to you using an auto-responder; or your direct response marketing campaign should be supported by back-end hotlines standing by to route any interested callers to ready sales representatives (direct one-on-one selling).

Direct mailing is one of the major tools in your direct marketing toolbox and success depends on namely your database selection, copy effectiveness, lead generation mechanism with loop back system, direct mailer design, format & creativity in eliciting positive buying response. Your chosen tool in tandem with the direct mailing campaign is very critical to its success.

In recent few years, DM has seen massive change in the approaches to sell, be it selling ideas, or products or services. These changes came about when the internet became extensively accessible, with the advent of broadband services and their competitive pricing.

They have seen creative changes through the rapid development of the New Media or Digital Media. The new media has since morphed from internet developments when the industry saw the advent of Web 2.0 – an advanced version of the world wide web which allows much more online functions than simply web-surfing and emailing.

The agents of change define Digital media or New media as digital audio, digital video, digital content as opposed to analog media. More specifically, new or digital media encompasses Internet Art, Video Games, Virtual worlds, Multimedia CD-ROMS, websites including brochure-ware, blogs and wikis, emails, RSS, SMS, MMS, electronic kiosks, Interactive TV, Mobile devices, Podcasting etc. Some or most of these are mediums which you, either as marketer or simply consumer, have utilized at some point in time.

More importantly for the perspective of a marketer, you must familiarize yourself with such mediums as most of them will be your “bridge” of communication for your brands and products with the very technology-vibrant young consumers.

And never forget, you must always design a direct marketing campaign with the ability to measure ROI – return on investment, be it an online or offline marketing campaign. This accords accountability and also allows tweaking of the components of your campaign for better response and results the next time.